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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Too hot to handle: Top tips for surviving a heat wave with toddlers

Too hot to handle: Top tips for surviving a heat wave with small children, babies and toddlers

In case it happens to have passed you by, it's a little bit bloody hot out there.


Unlike the sun which you pay a lot of money for in the name of a relaxing holiday (or not), you are supposed to just woman up and get on with life as normal despite the fact you're sweating your tits off and no one is sleeping properly.

The whingelets have both been up and whining since 6am and to add in to this delightful mix I have a head cold and a sore throat (hopefully not life threatening) which means my signature enthusiasm for pre breakfast tantrums is waning.

So what the hell do you do when it's too hot to function?


Well, the first day of this Great British Heat Wave was spent in an air conditioned soft play centre. In retrospect that's probably where this (possibly deadly) disease came from. It wasn't actually too bad, as soft plays go. It was cool at least. However even in the name of escaping the heat I couldn't face it more than once a week. Other places that are air conditioned and you might want to spend some time in include the cinema and your car.
Well, the first day of this Great British Heat Wave was spent in an air conditioned soft play centre. In retrospect that's probably where this (possibly deadly) disease came from. It wasn't actually too bad, as soft plays go. It was cool at least. However even in the name of escaping the heat I couldn't face it more than once a week. Other places that are air conditioned and you might want to spend some time in include the cinema and your car.
If you have a garden, it's the place to be! Yes, it's a bit shit that you can't see your phone screen properly so guess you'll just have to play. Or maybe read a book like old fashioned times.

Outdoor toys are great for the summer. 


Unless you happen to have more than one child because they will fight incessantly over Every Bloody Thing. We have a garden brimming with plastic crap outdoor toys (I'm not joking, just look)
If you have a garden, it's the place to be! Yes, it's a bit shit that you can't see your phone screen properly so guess you'll just have to play. Or maybe read a book like old fashioned times.  Outdoor toys are great for the summer. Unless you happen to have more than one child because they will fight incessantly over Every Bloody Thing. We have a garden brimming with plastic crap outdoor toys (I'm not joking, just look)
...And yet the chance of them amusing themselves - happily and fairly quietly - for upwards of five minute is very, very slim.

Maybe a trip to the park (but obviously, not in the midday sun) is a better idea.


Less stuff to fight over at least -  but be prepared for it to be heaving. At least one kid will have ice cream and it'll be all you'll hear about until you get home.

If you brave the outdoors for any length of time then of course sun cream is a must, however I concede it that applying sun cream to a toddler is a grim job and no mistake. I have yet to find a sun cream that a) applies well b) doesn't make picking up my children like trying to catch a greased up pig (I'd imagine) c) doesn't stain everything it comes into contact with. Don't even talk to me about the sun cream/sand combination that is so popular with toddlers. Thank god we don't live near a beach so we don't have to face that particular hell. That is my kryptonite.
Maybe a trip to the park (but obviously, not in the midday sun) is a better idea - less stuff to fight over at least -  but be prepared for it to be heaving. At least one kid will have ice cream and it'll be all you'll hear about until you get home.  If you brave the outdoors for any length of time then of course sun cream is a must, however I concede it that applying sun cream to a toddler is a grim job and no mistake. I have yet to find a sun cream that a) applies well b) doesn't make picking up my children like trying to catch a greased up pig (I'd imagine) c) doesn't stain everything it comes into contact with. Don't even talk to me about the sun cream/sand combination that is so popular with toddlers. Thank god we don't live near a beach so we don't have to face that particular hell. That is my kryptonite.
Shudder
I have no idea who invented hats for babies and small toddlers but I doubt they have met any babies or small toddlers. I have a better chance of getting the dog to wear one. Same goes with baby sunglasses. Nice idea, but apparently using gaffa tap to keep them on is frowned upon. If you have happened upon the magical magical solution to this, I'd love to know.


On the second day of sweltering, we got out the paddling pool


Water is an excellent way of cooling off and amusing the smalls but I have to supervise them very closely because they do like to put themselves at great danger as often as possible; especially the small one who likes to try to climb in and out with varying degrees of success. No lounging with books here.
I have no idea who invented hats for babies and small toddlers but I doubt they have met any babies or small toddlers. I have a better chance of getting the dog to wear one. Same goes with baby sunglasses. Nice idea, but apparently using gaffa tap to keep them on is frowned upon. If you have happened upon the magical magical solution to this, I'd love to know.  On the second day of sweltering, we got out the paddling pool. Water is an excellent way of cooling off and amusing the smalls but I have to supervise them very closely because they do like to put themselves at great danger as often as possible; especially the small one who likes to try to climb in and out with varying degrees of success. No lounging with books here.
The paddling pool always seems like a lovely idea but putting it up is always surprisingly labour intensive. No matter how carefully you put it away last time, it will have a slow leak. It takes an age to fill (which is great because toddlers are so patient) but if you leave it up over night not only will it start to deflate, but it will collect an enormous amount of crud, so you either have to empty it and deflate it every night or else just net out any suicidal slugs and grimace (my preferred option). They only ever spend five minutes in it anyway before the big one is bored and demanding ice cream.

It's not all doom and gloom though; the summer heat has some definite ticks in the 'pros' column. 


Having a picnic lunch outside is, for some unknown reason, extremely exciting to a toddler and for me it means less hoovering and washing of high chairs. Win/win. They can also run round in the nude, the natural state of the toddler, which means less washing.

A few degrees less when I'm trying to sleep wouldn't go amiss though.


What are your top tips for surviving the summer?



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20 comments:

  1. Just let the buggers sleep. Sun makes everyone drowsy. Not really - but I'm totally with you on suncream. Moo is like a greasy, slippery eel and my bedsheets are green.

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    1. I wish they would bloody sleep! Oh, how I wish. He had one early nap and that was it for the bastard day!!

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  2. AH the paddling pool sludge - thats my favourite... not! I do like the picnic thing for the lack of mess. However our garden is about the size of a postage stamp so we head off to the park looking determined and come home about 15 minutes later for a wee... ah british summer! #Triballove

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  3. My particular favourite is the food stuck in the suncream down the neck/under the arms. I have had to prise too many crisps (sorry, NOT organic oatcakes) from beneath sticky limbs. But there's always Pimm's... (brilliant analysis F!) #chucklemums

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  4. Breastfeeding a sweaty, greasy, sticky and extremely hot child as they rub suncream stains all over you - what fun it is. Great observations. #Chucklemums

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  5. Urgh summer. I have such a love hate relationship with it. Thankfully nursery has taught my one to love putting suncream on, go figure, and if you can find a hat they approve of, you might be in luck at keeping it on for longer than 5 minutes! It'll be Winter soon and we can all complain about how cold it is! #chucklemums

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  6. Hot weather with a little one is definitely different. I'd got used to being able to enjoy a book and a coffee in relative peace as the older one entertained herself. With a 5 month old, not so much! #chucklemums

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  7. Well I had a good guffaw and read some of it out to my smallest who thought it was funny too ( your blog tried and tested by a 6 year old then). I think I did bribery when my 2 were little with the hat thing - "if you wear your hat Mummy will get you an ice cream/ driving lessons/a deposit on your first flat" - and no it didn't work! I slapped extra suncream on their heads (mwha ha ha ha) evil laugh #241 #chucklemums

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  8. Love that it's not just me trying to read my mobile phone screen when outside with the kids. But of course, I live in Australia...tipping our ideas of hot are quite different. Lots of icy poles; takes them ages to eat them. #chucklemums

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  9. With a 5 month old we spent the entire heatwave (1 day here in scotland) in the shade, watching everyone else enjoy the sun. Plus - I always thought soft play was meant to be hot and miserable, not nice and cool?! #chucklemums

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  10. Aaarggh you mentioned the suncream and sand combo, just the thought of it makes me cringe!! #chucklemums

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  11. The suncream gleam, moaning kids and those bloody hats! Couldn't have put this better myself! I hate the crocodile roll both my kids do when i'm trying to apply said suncream then how slippery they are after! Love summer. Hate it with kids! #chucklemums

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  12. You are brave to dare to attend indoor soft play!

    I've found Wilko's own brand of suncream pretty good this year, it's worth trying!

    #chucklemums

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  13. My top tip for summer is apply alcohol liberally to my person (via my gob) #chucklemums

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  14. Why can't they stay in the sodding paddling pool for longer than 5 minutes? We live by the beach and the sand/ suntan lotion combo is a fricking nightmare.

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  15. Why can't they stay in the sodding paddling pool for longer than 5 minutes? We live by the beach and the sand/ suntan lotion combo is a fricking nightmare.

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  16. Oh the paddling pool, should be your best friend but damn, the head rush from blowing the bloody thing up and then as you say, it's only good for the day without wearing protective clothing to get in it the next day! #chucklemums

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  17. I'm with you on them entertaining themselves...even just 15 minutes a couple of times a day would be bliss! Fucks sake... Ha. #chucklemums

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  18. The natural state of a toddler: nude, except for sunspecs held on with gaffa tape. Who knew? ������

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  19. Applying sun cream to toddlers is definitely a grim job - it now takes me even longer to get out of the bloody house! I hate heat! #chucklemums

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